September 3, 2019
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When it comes to their feelings on mainstream media, Gen Z’s over it. Research shows traditional media brands aren’t catching on with Gen Z, but it doesn’t mean young people don’t care about the news. Almost 4 out of 5 teens say it’s important to them to follow current events. Why the disconnect? Most traditional outlets are still waiting for Gen Z to come to them. Half of Gen Z use social media for their news, with Instagram being the leading destination for all things political. Video dominates, with the average young person spending 3.4 hours watching videos every day on platforms like YouTube. Yet the majority of legacy outlets distribute news through television and radio, often putting their social media energy into platforms like Facebook, which Gen Z is also over
A few mainstream outlets and brands have made strides to keep up with the first digitally native generation. NBC’s Snapchat news show “Stay Tuned” brings in 20-30M unique views per month, most from 16-19 year olds; and also adapts content to YouTube and TikTok. Cosmopolitan was another early adopter of the Snapchat strategy in 2015, which paid off in 3M daily readers. 
And then there’s young people taking reporting into their own hands. Take the Cramm, a news source created by 15-year-old Olivia Seltzer and other teenagers and disseminated via email and text. Or 16-year-old Sofia Frazer’s Instagram account @dailydoseofwokeness that’s over 30,000 followers strong. 
The good news is young people do trust news orgs over social media and are well-aware of the prevalence of Fake News. The Google-backed project MediaWise has tapped teens eager to fact-check misinformation and partnered with YouTube-famous author John Green to launch a media literacy series as part of a broader initiative to empower young people to spot the difference between what’s real and fake. Gen Z is into it. The opportunity is now for media outlets to serve them better while also meeting them where they are.
MTV’s Video Music Awards are now in their 34th year, and one thing’s for sure: they have not quite nailed down their audience, instead going the route of trying to be all things to all people. John Travolta, already a questionable decision, almost handed Taylor Swift’s award to drag queen Jade Jolie, while host Sebastian Maiscalco dedicated his opening monologue to making fun of young people at an event all about young people. Yet there were a few moments that saved the day: Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness nailed the red carpet and educated media outlets who inaccurately reported his gender identity, Taylor Swift’s petition for the Equality Act finally caught the attention of the White House, and if you missed Lizzo, stop everything.

Teens in Nevada organized support for a teachers’ strike via TikTok.

  The “VSCO girl” rundown.

  It’s JoJo Siwa’s world and we’re just living in it.

  Seventh Generation donates its ad airtime to youth climate strike.

  Even Juul’s CEO is saying not to use his company’s product.
Today's Quick Hit
 The great ketchup debate of 2019.
DoSomething Strategic (formerly TMI Strategy) is the data-driven consultancy arm of We help brands and organizations engage young people for positive social change.

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